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The Three Components of a Digital Transformation Roadmap

What is a digital transformation roadmap?

A digital transformation roadmap is an approach to defining and managing a digital transformation effort. It is a core step to ensure you are embracing The Modern Workspace - learn more about The Modern Workspace here. It provides a structured way to move through the many programs needed to realise success. The best roadmaps are those that are aligned with business strategy from both the top-down and the bottom-up.

From the top-down, the big picture goals need to be broken down into executable tactics and translated into real business outcomes. And from the bottom-up, customer insights need to be communicated back to executives who can monitor progress and make any necessary strategy revisions.

Learn about the 4 models of Digital Transfromation with this easy to ready infographic: The Four Models of Digital Transformation

Mapping the journey

A digital roadmap is divided into three stages: vision, strategy, and execution.

Vision

The roadmap begins with an assessment of the digital maturity of the organisation today, and moves on to a definition of a digital vision. Too often, organisations invest time and money in mapping the digital transformation journey for the future without assessing their current state. Knowing where your organisation is on the maturity scale before you start is so critical in fact, that we dedicated an entire blog to it last week.

Questions to ask at this stage include:

  • How can we improve internal operations to transform the customer experience?
  • Does the business model need reworking?
  • How can the business units work in a more connected way?
Strategy

Once the assessment and vision are completed, it’s possible to identify the systemic gaps between your current state and your desired state, and start to map out the digital investments required to bridge those gaps and realise that vision. The focus here is on building an integrated information infrastructure, which serves as a foundation for integrating data across silos.

Questions to ask at this stage include:

  • What current assets will be valuable in a digitally enabled business?
  • Are we getting all the value out of previous technology and platform investments in ERP, analytics, or collaboration tools? If not, what is necessary to get the foundations right?
  • Where are the key investment areas that will maximise the contribution to the new vision?
  • Can we “de-risk” some of the investments through experimentation and controlled testing?
  • What skills are missing in our digital transformation initiatives? Do we need to hire new staff, retrain frontline employees, or partner with an IT services firm to gain digital capabilities?
Execution

Only now can the leadership team start to talk about implementing technologies and business processes, hiring people with the right skills, and building organisations. This stage is about maximising organisational efficiency and achieving scalability for the new digital business model.

In addition to the customer experience, you should also focus on internal processes and people. An understanding of workflows and data flows leads to better operational integration, and mining the data for business intelligence leads to more productive knowledge workers and better business decision-making.

Questions to ask at this stage include:

  • How do we communicate the vision and engage the organisation on a large scale? How do we monitor engagement?
  • What process do we have in place to iterate the digital vision and strategy?
  • How do we coordinate investments and activities across silos? What is the best organisational model to coordinate digital initiatives in parallel to the core of the business?
  • What KPIs and metrics do we need to put in place to monitor the progress of our digital transformation towards our strategic goals?
  • What mechanism do we use to make the necessary adjustments?
Making it work

To achieve successful digital transformation, organisations must build a digital vision, design a strategy, and create an information architecture to guide technology choices and to fully leverage investments.

Digital transformation isn’t meant to be easy, but it’s made even harder if there is friction between IT and the business, or if you’re a large, traditional enterprises with decades of history and legacy. In these cases, it’s best to partner with a managed IT service provider, who will work with you to develop a practical digital roadmap that ensures technology investments are aligned with business outcomes.

Learn more about Digital Transformation and the Modern Workspace in our Guide to the Modern Workspace here: 

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Tags CIO, digital strategy, Digital Transformation, digital transformation roadmap, IT leaders

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